Children’s Musical Theatre of Bartlesville will bring the classic musical “Annie” to life on the Bartlesville Community Center main stage on July 20-23.
Based on the popular comic strip by Harold Gray, “Annie” has become a worldwide phenomenon and was the winner of seven Tony Awards, including best musical. The beloved book and score by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin features some of the greatest musical theatre hits ever written, including “Tomorrow.”
With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. She is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City Orphanage that is run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other girls in the orphanage, Annie escapes to the wondrous world of NYC. In adventure after fun-filled adventure, Annie foils Miss Hannigan’s evil machinations — and even befriends President Franklin D. Roosevelt. She finds a new home and family in billionaire Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy.
Auditions for CMT’s annual summer production were held in February at Madison Middle School and more than 200 talented local students tried out for roles. Director Kathy Pingle and Music Director Roberta Eberhard had the very difficult task of choosing from the large selection of promising actors and singers to fill the roles of Annie, Warbucks, Grace Farrell, Ms. Hannigan, Molly, Rooster Hannigan, Lily St. Regis, and many more. By the time the process had concluded, 69 area students had been selected to fill out the cast list. Cast members come from Bartlesville, Dewey, Copan, Barnsdall, Cleveland, Collinsville and Independence, Kan., and they represent public, private and homeschooled students from ages 7-17 years old.
Rehearsals will start in mid-June and continue for a five-week rehearsal period. The young people will learn from the professional artistic staff to hone their skills in acting, dancing, and singing as they rehearse for five days a week all day long. They will also be learning to work with other cast members as a team to create a production from the very beginning to the end to share a full-scale high quality production for the community to view in July.
Playing the title role of the spunky orphan Annie is Kamille Girard. Ms. Hannigan, the disillusioned and bitter matron of the orphanage will be played by Kassidy Girard. Lane Cabler will assume the role of the warm-hearted, successful businessman Daddy Warbucks. Grace Farrell, Warbucks faithful secretary, will feature Reagan Colaw. James Boudreaux will play the role of the Rooster Hannigan, Ms. Hannigan’s no-good brother while Carlie Pool will join Boudreaux as his girlfriend, Lily St. Regis. The gritty, neglected, but loveable and honest orphanage girls will be led by Pepper (Neveah Hadsell), Duffy (Kate Boudreaux), July (Julia Colaw), Tessie (Kelly Featherston), Kate (Jacquin Hallaway) and Molly (Emily Dickey). This orphan ensemble is completed with Emma Ames, Sadie Davidson, Marisol De La Rosa, Natalie Hart, Sophia Hewitt, Faith Koster, Kaylee Morris, Bella Morrison, Ledi Mull, Molly Pennington, Isabella Pellegrino, Brooke Settle, Alyson Sundberg, Riley Reamy, Josie Turner, Evie Vaclaw, Kate Williams and Jericah Wood.
A large number of cast will perform in multiple supporting roles throughout the musical. Filling multiple roles as supporting roles, New York Ensemble, Warbucks Household Staff, the “NBC Studio: Oxidant Hour of Smiles” and the White House Cabinet include: Navaeh Ashlock, Caleb Atchison, Kamie Ayres, Kyler Ayres, Demekech Bernstein, Jackson Boudreaux, Asher Brewer, Tobin Brewer, Isabella Cavaceci, Alexandra Craig, Ben Dillsaver, Sora Gillman, Ryan Helkenberg, Sloan Hewitt, Rachel Hopkins, Katherine Lawson, Treabein Liston, Brooke Marshall, Lily McGee, Drew O’Brien, Julianna Ortiz, Maggie Parrett, Samarah Robinson, Skyla Robison, Kate Snowden, Amelia Stinnett, Bryanna Swan, Eli Swanson, Gage Swanson, Mirena Takahashi, Mae Tuschman, Elizabeth Veit, Carter Wells, Skyler White, Meagan White, Linsey Williams, Bailey Willis, Joyce Yang and Stone Yang.
Children’s Musical Theatre of Bartlesville was founded in 2000 with a mission to enrich the lives of area youth by providing quality musical theatre performance and education opportunities. Each summer, CMT produces a full-scale musical complete with quality vocal and live orchestra music, special effects, beautiful sets, period-appropriate costuming and props, and top-notch character portrayals. Previous musicals include “Cinderella,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” “Sound of Music,” “Peter Pan,” “Wizard of Oz,” “High School Musical,” “Music Man,” “Oliver,” “Annie,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Willy Wonka,” “A Little Princess” and “Mary Poppins.”
There are no fees to audition for a CMT summer mainstage production and cast members are not charged any tuition fees to be part of the program. Funding for the program is generated through various fundraising activities, sponsorships, grants, community donations and support. Cast member families are expected to assist with fundraising activities as well as helping with pre- and post-production activities and backstage during the show.
Companies which are helping to make CMT’s latest production possible include ConocoPhillips, Phillips 66, Bank of Oklahoma, Susan Dick Financial Services, American Heritage Bank, Musical Research Society, Truity Credit Union, Walmart Distribution Center, Musselman Abstract, Jane Phillips Society, Yard by Yard, and many more. Every year, several patrons, sponsors and parent volunteers prove vital to the organization as well.
Tickets for “Annie” will go on sale to the public on June 12 at the Bartlesville Community Center at 300 SE Adams Blvd. or online at www.bartlesvillecommunitycenter.com. The BCC Box office can be reached at 918-336-2787.
Those who wish to learn more about the Children’s Musical Theatre of Bartlesville can go online to www.cmtonstage.com, friend them on Facebook at “Children’s Musical Theatre of Bartlesville,” Twitter @cmtonstage, or call 918-336-0558.